Blitzboks overcome Kiwis

The Blitzboks scored a try on either side of half-time to secure a 14-7 win over New Zealand in Sunday's Cup semi-final at the Cape Town Sevens, writes CRAIG LEWIS at the Cape Town Stadium.

The Springbok Sevens side breezed into the semi-finals after a 33-0 win over Wales in their first match on Sunday, and while they were tested by a gallant New Zealand team, they ultimately held their nerve when it mattered most.

Earlier on, reigning champs and Olympic gold medal winners Fiji had been knocked out of title contention, leaving the Blitzboks with a final fixture against England, who comfortably defeated Scotland in the second semi-final.

Although there had been some concern over the fitness of star player Seabelo Senatla after he sustained a calf strain against Wales, he was able to take up his place in the starting lineup, and would play a key role in the home team's opening try.

At first, the home crowd was stunned into relative silence when the Kiwis struck first through Sherwin Stowers in the fifth minute, but that was almost immediately cancelled out when a beautifully worked try enabled Branco du Preez to dive over under the posts after an initial break from Senatla.

That try brought the scores level at 7-7, but the Blitzboks suffered a significant blow just before the break when former captain Kyle Brown suffered what looked to be a serious knee injury, and had to be stretchered from the field.

Yet, brushing that blow off, South Africa surged into the lead soon after the restart as Rosko Speckman produced a scintillating break to score an 80m try that opened up a handy seven-point lead with just over four minutes remaining.

Despite limited possession, the Blitzboks held on from there, and moved into yet another final on home soil, having emerged victorious in the last three tournaments played in South Africa.

The final will take place at 7.44pm.

All the Cape Town Sevens fixtures and results

Photo: Gallo Images

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Craig Lewis